Organisation helps 100 children to transition to next level of education, fighting poverty and despair in Africa’s largest slum
BY STEPHEN ONYANGO
Kibra is considered the largest slum in Africa and over the years many vices have been associated with the expansive informal settlement ranging from school dropout, teenage pregnancies and crime.
But within the same area countless individuals and organisations have come up with ways to rewrite the story of Kibra by amplify the voices of its youths by offering them a chance at getting a good education. One such organisation is ROCK foundation established 10 years ago to enable the youths access scholarship for transitioning into the next level of schooling.
“We founded the organisation in 2006. It first started as a football team. We then begun a dance team. This was to reduce idleness in the area and make youths to be self- reliant,” says Robert Ouma, the head of operations.
“The reason for starting it also was to help the needy students and pupils in Kibra to effectively transition from one level of education to another. I have lived within the same setting and observed it was a challenge for them to continue education. We have partners in the USA and German,” adds Robert.
Rock also offers different programmes like tutoring, scholarship, feeding programmes, mentoring, pad distribution and camping.
The organization chooses its beneficiaries by visiting homes and assessing the needs of those who apply. They also taken in those who visit them and show the willingness to pursue education.
“What makes us unique is that we fully pay the school fees of each student, and we give them many chances to redeem themselves if they have not performed well. We also give them tutoring, offered by our own graduates to help their young ones in the weak areas. We have had over one hundred beneficiaries some of whom are in campus, but majority are in secondary schools. We mainly deal with secondary students who range from 14 years to 18years, but we also have some few in campus,” says Robert.
The challenges they face is being forced to cut off funding to students who underperform perennially.
“We regularly do follow ups with the graduates from our programmes by helping the find employment once they complete their studies. We also pay fees for the first three semester before one is able access the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funding. We always motivate ourselves by making each of us be self -reliant and stable to do any task despite our challenges,” says Robert.
They get their funding from donors and local partners. The legacy they want to leave behind is to eradicate poverty for a better living and to make people believe in themselves and be self-reliant in the society.